George Herman Ruth Jr. was born on February 6, 1895 in Baltimore, Maryland to parents George Sr. and Kate. George Jr. was one of eight children, although only he and his sister Mamie survived. George Jr.’s parents worked long hours, leaving little time to watch over him and his sister. The lack of parental guidance allowed George Jr. to become a bit unruly, often skipping school and causing trouble in the neighborhood. When George Jr. turned 7 years old, his parents realized he needed a stricter environment and therefore sent him to the St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, a school run by Catholic monks from an order of the Xaverian Brothers. St. Mary’s provided a strict and regimented environment that helped shape George Jr.’s future. Not only did George Jr. learn vocational skills, but he developed a passion and love for the game of baseball.
Brother Matthias, one of the monks at St. Mary’s, took an instant liking to George Jr. and became a positive role model and father-like figure to George Jr. while at St. Mary’s. Brother Matthias also happened to help George Jr. refine his baseball skills, working tirelessly with him on hitting, fielding and pitching skills. George Jr. became so good at baseball that the Brothers invited Jack Dunn, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, to come watch George Jr. play. Dunn was obviously impressed, as he offered a contract to George Jr. in February 1914 after watching him for less than an hour. Since George Jr. was only 19 at the time, Dunn had to become George’s legal guardian in order to complete the contract. Upon seeing George Jr. for the first time, the Orioles players referred to him as “Jack’s newest babe”, and thus the most famous nickname in American sports history was born. Thereafter, George Herman Ruth Jr. was known as the Babe.
The Babe performed well for Dunn and the Orioles, leading to the sale of Babe to the Boston Red Sox by Dunn. While Babe is most known for his prodigious power as a slugger, he started his...
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